On any given week, one may come across a photo of a dog and a cat sitting in perfect harmony going viral on the internet. Cats and dogs are known to be each other’s mortal enemies, so how is it that they get along so wonderfully in some cases?
One may think perhaps a certain dog breed is friendlier with cats or a very specific living condition is required for cats and dogs to be able to live together. If you have these questions about Vizslas, in particular, the following sections may provide some clarity about Vizslas being able to live with cats.
A Vizsla and a Cat: Short Story or Long, Healthy Life?
Vizslas are energetic, loyal and intelligent hunting dogs that have been bred for centuries in Hungary (and now other parts of the world) for their trailing, hunting and pointing acumen. Since they have the genetic makeup of hunting dogs, it is easy to presume that they will not get along with other animals, let alone cats, as they have been bred to go after them instead of being friendly with them.
However, there are plenty of happy families out there that have managed to keep a cat as well as a Vizsla as pets without any trouble. The key, however, is early socialization.
It is important for the Vizsla to grow up around the said cat to consider them part of their adopted family. If your Vizsla is already past the early socialization stage and you still want to bring home a feline pet, it would be easier to introduce the Vizsla to a kitten and make them familiar, instead of a fully grown cat. In some cases, your dog may invite a stray cat in themselves in which case they have solved the problem for you.
The bottom line is, a Vizsla can certainly live with a cat provided it gets the right kind of socialization and has preferably grown up with the cat around. Despite the reputation of aggression hunting dogs like Vizslas get, they are friendly and jovial dogs who thrive in the company of people (and animals) they love and are familiar with.
They can also be great pets to have in the house if you have older, more active children in the house (you can have a Vizsla even around a smaller child, but be careful not to leave the dog unsupervised around the child).
They are highly loyal dogs and as they are protective of their human family, they will also be similarly protective of their feline companions, provided they are given the right kind of socialization at the right time.
Also Read: 12 of the Top Vizsla Mix Breeds
Caring for a Vizsla
Vizslas are medium-sized hunting dogs that like to be close to their owners and enjoy a lot of activity as they have been bred to cover a lot of field walking and running with their owner. They are companion dogs who thrive best with active owners who like to be outdoors, go on hikes, camping trips, etc.
A key element of caring for a Vizsla, therefore, is to ensure it gets the right kind of activity and exercise through the day. While walks twice a day are a must, you may also want to include some more strenuous activity like running or playing games throughout the day. While they are medium-sized dogs, it would be better if they have some space to run around and be active even inside the house if you do not have an attached yard.
Since Vizslas are so active, you may also want to consider what kind of cat you are pairing them with. If you have a Vizsla puppy with a senior cat who needs some peace and tranquility, there may be some friction as the cat may not be too thrilled by the energy of the Vizsla. Socializing a kitten and a Vizsla pup together is the best option.
Vizslas are also good guard dogs, but they are not meant to be kennel dogs and do not do well when left alone for too long. They can develop serious separation anxiety and need to be around people they trust. They are an extremely sensitive dog breed and need constant positive reinforcement and patience when you are training them.
Vizslas have a distinct red coat which can vary in shades, ranging from mahogany to light rust, though the American Kennel Club specification is golden rust. They have a short coat that sheds seasonally. You would benefit from using a rubber grooming brush on their coat once a week.
Vizslas are also gifted swimmers, but unlike breeds like Labradors that are also good swimmers, Vizslas do not have an undercoat so you should avoid taking them out for a swim when the weather is too cold.
They do not need to be bathed frequently, but when you do use lukewarm water and a good dog soap or shampoo that suits their skin. The Vizsla’s coat has a natural shine which you must maintain through regular brushing and nutrition. If you notice the sheen fading away, you may want to reconsider your Vizsla’s diet. Taking care of a Vizsla and grooming it is not difficult if you only pay attention.
Vizslas are friendly and energetic companion dogs that can easily live with a cat or another dog if it is socialized in time and you have the patience to acquaint both animals with each other.
Of course, the temperament of individual dogs may differ but on the whole, you should have no trouble getting your Vizsla to accept a cat in the home. What you must not take a chance with, however, is bringing a smaller animal into the house if you have a Vizsla or vice-versa.
It is nearly impossible to get a Vizsla to live in harmony with a rabbit, guinea pig, hamster or even a bird. They are gundogs who will instinctually go after smaller prey as that is what their genetic makeup tells them they should be doing. It is likely that your Vizsla will try to kill any other small animals in the house so it is best to avoid this bloody situation altogether.